Order ANGUILLIFORMES: Families PROTANGUILLIDAE, SYNAPHOBRANCHIDAE, HETERENCHELYIDAE, MYROCONGRIDAE, MURAENIDAE, CHLOPSIDAE and DERICHTHYIDAE

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v. 14.0 – 8 Oct. 2017  view/download PDF

Family PROTANGUILLIDAE Primitive Cave Eel

Protanguilla Johnson, Ida & Miya 2011    protos, first; anguilla, Latin for eel, referring to early divergence of genus among anguilliforms

Protanguilla palau Johnson, Ida & Sakaue 2011    collected from a 35 m-deep fringing-reef cave in the western Pacific Ocean Republic of Palau


Family SYNAPHOBRANCHIDAE Cutthroat Eels
12 genera • 39 species                     

Subfamily SIMENCHELYINAE Pugnose Parasitic Eel

Simenchelys Gill 1879    simos, pugnosed, referring to short, blunt snout; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Simenchelys parasitica Gill 1879    referring to its presumed parasitic behavior (Gill reported specimens burrowing into the flesh of a halibut)

Subfamily ILYOPHINAE Arrowtooth Eels or Mustard Eels                         

Atractodenchelys Robins & Robins 1970    atractos, arrow and odus, tooth, referring to distinctive triangular vomerine teeth of this and related genera; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Atractodenchelys phrix Robins & Robins 1970    Greek for a ruffling or ripple, referring to plicate snout

Atractodenchelys robinsorum Karmovskaya 2003    orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of Catherine H. and C. Richard Robins, “renowned American ichthyologists, investigators of synaphobranchid eels”

Dysomma Alcock 1889    dys-, bad; omma, eye, referring to minute eyes, concealed beneath skin

Dysomma anguillare Barnard 1923    eel-like, referring to more elongate shape compared to D. bunocephalus

Dysomma brevirostre (Facciolà 1887)    brevis, short; rostrum, snout, referring to blunt, bulbous snout

Dysomma bucephalus Alcock 1889    bu-, huge; cephalus, head, referring to “posteriorly deep and much inflated” head, its length (measured to gill opening) nearly ¼ total body length

Dysomma dolichosomatum Karrer 1983    dolichos, long; soma, body, referring to more elongated body compared to D. polycatodon

Dysomma fuscoventralis Karrer & Klausewitz 1982    fuscus, dark; ventralis, of the belly, referring to dark coloration of abdominal area

Dysomma goslinei Robins & Robins 1976    in honor of the authors’ colleague, ichthyologist William A. Gosline (1915-2002), University of Michigan

Dysomma longirostrum Chen & Mok 2001    longus, long; rostrum, snout, referring to “exceptionally long” snout (4.6% of total length)   

Dysomma melanurum Chen & Weng 1967    melanos, black; oura, tail, referring to dark brown caudal fin

Dysomma muciparus (Alcock 1891)    muci-, mucus; phero, to bear, referring to skin “enveloped in thick, very tenacious mucus”

Dysomma opisthoproctus Chen & Mok 1995    opistho-, behind; proktos, anus, referring to posteriorly positioned anus (1.5 times head length behind pectoral fin base)

Dysomma polycatodon Karrer 1983    poly, many; kata, under or below; odon, tooth, referring to continuous series of 21-23 smaller teeth behind canines on lower jaw, longer and stronger than counterparts on upper jaw

Dysomma taiwanense Ho, Smith & Tighe 2015    ensis, suffix denoting place: off Taiwan, type locality

Dysomma tridens Robins, Böhlke & Robins 1989    trident, referring to three premaxillary teeth, shaped like an inverted V or isosceles triangle, which project below tip of fleshy snout

Dysommina Ginsburg 1951    diminutive of Dysomma, presumably alluding to similarity between the two genera

Dysommina rugosa Ginsburg 1951    wrinkled or shriveled, referring to fleshy, papillose snout

Ilyophis Gilbert 1891    ilys, ooze, presumably referring to habitat of soft or silty bottoms; ophis, snake, referring to snake-like shape of an eel

Ilyophis arx Robins 1976    Latin for castle, alluding to Peter H. J. Castle (1934-1999), Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand), who “laid the foundations of modern work on synaphobranchid eels”

Ilyophis blachei Saldanha & Merrett 1982    in honor of ichthyologist and “good friend” Jacques Blache (1922-1994), for valuable contributions to anguilliform taxonomy

Ilyophis brunneus Gilbert 1891    brown, referring to body coloration

Ilyophis nigeli Shcherbachev & Sulak 1997    in honor of ichthyologist Nigel R. Merrett (b. 1940), for his “substantial contributions” to the knowledge of Ilyophis and other synaphobranchid eels

Ilyophis robinsae Sulak & Shcherbachev 1997    in honor of Catherine H. Robins, for her “substantial contributions” to the knowledge of synaphobranchid eels

Ilyophis saldanhai Karmovskaya & Parin 1999    in honor of the late Luiz Saldanha (1937-1997), prominent Portuguese ichthyologist and friend, for “substantial contributions” to anguilliform studies

Linkenchelys Smith 1989    named for the Johnson-Sea Link submersible, which collected only known specimens; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Linkenchelys multipora Smith 1989     multi-, many; pora, pores, referring to relatively numerous lateral line pores

Meadia Böhlke 1951    patronym not identified but almost certainly in honor of Böhlke’s frequent collaborator and Stanford University colleague, Giles W. Mead (1928-2003)

Meadia abyssalis (Kamohara 1938)    of the deep sea, presumably referring to eel’s benthopelagic (100-329 m) habitat (Kamohara’s paper describes fishes collected from 61-381 m) [note: abyssal usually refers to water deeper than 4000 m, but this eel apparently does not occur that deep]

Meadia roseni Mok, Lee & Chan 1991    in honor of the late Donn Eric Rosen (1929-1986), American Museum of Natural History, for his “tremendous contribution” to fish systematics

Thermobiotes Geistdoerfer 1991    thermos, heat; biotos, means of living, referring to its living at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent

Thermobiotes mytilogeiton Geistdoerfer 1991    mytilos, mollusk; geiton, neighbor, referring to its living among sea snails (Alviniconcha)

Subfamily SYNAPHOBRANCHINAE Cutthroat Eels  

Diastobranchus Barnard 1923    diastos, divided; branchus, gill, referring to separated gill openings (unlike united gill opening of Synaphobranchus)

Diastobranchus capensis Barnard 1923    ensis, suffix denoting place: the cape (Cape Point, South Africa), type locality

Haptenchelys Robins & Martin 1976    hapto, join or fasten to, referring to status as a link between nominal families (now subfamilies) Dysomminae (=Ilyophinae) and Synaphobranchinae; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Haptenchelys parviocularis Tashiro & Shinohara 2014    parvus, small; ocularis, eye, referring to eye much smaller than gill-slit aperture

Haptenchelys texis Robins & Martin 1976    a wasting away or dissolution, referring to dissolution of artificial boundaries between what was once regarded as two families (see genus)

Histiobranchus Gill 1883    histion, sail; branchus, gill, referring to anterior insertion of dorsal fin, commencing above or immediately behind pectoral fins

Histiobranchus australis (Regan 1913)    southern, referring to distribution in the Southern Hemisphere

Histiobranchus bathybius (Günther 1877)    bathys, deep; bios, life, referring to deep-sea habitat

Histiobranchus bruuni Castle 1964    in honor of Danish oceanographer and ichthyologist Anton Frederick Bruun (1901-1961), whose 1937 work “forms an invaluable basis of our knowledge of the family Synaphobranchidae and whose interest in this study was interrupted by his untimely death”

Synaphobranchus Johnson 1862    synaptos, united; branchus, gill, referring to gill openings externally united into a single slit in some species

Synaphobranchus affinis Günther 1877    related to, referring to similarity to S. brevidorsalis

Synaphobranchus brevidorsalis Günther 1887    brevis, short; dorsalis, dorsal fin, presumably referring to how dorsal fin commences so far behind vent that distance between its origin and vent equals length of head

Synaphobranchus calvus Melo 2007    bald, referring to absence of scales on head

Synaphobranchus dolichorhynchus Lea 1913    dolichos, long; rhynchus, snout, referring to snout of leptocephalus, the point of which is “elongated into a proboscis”

Synaphobranchus kaupii Johnson 1862    in honor of naturalist Johann Jacob Kaup (1803-1873), “who has well studied this order of fishes” (Kaup wrote first major treatise on eels in 1856)

Synaphobranchus oregoni Castle 1960    named for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research vessel Oregon, from which type was collected


Family HETERENCHELYIDAE Mud Eels
2 genera • 8 species
heteros, different; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel, representing a different (i.e., new) family and genus (Heterenchelys Regan 1912, now a junior synonym of Pythonichthys), related to but with “important differences” from Moringua

Panturichthys Pellegrin 1913    pantos, all; oura, tail; referring to long tail of P. mauritanicus, nearly twice as long as rest of fish; ichthys, fish

Panturichthys fowleri (Ben-Tuvia 1953)    in honor of Henry Weed Fowler (1878-1965), Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, presumably for his “kind help” in determining the identity of two other undescribed Mediterranean fishes from Israel

Panturichthys isognathus Poll 1953    iso-, equal; gnathos, jaw, referring to equal size of jaw compared to prominent lower jaw of P. mauritanicus

Panturichthys longus (Ehrenbaum 1915)    long, probably referring to long body shape of these eels in general, and longer body shape of this eel in particular compared to P. mauritanicus

Panturichthys mauritanicus Pellegrin 1913    icus, belonging to: Baie du Lévrier, Mauritania, type locality (but occurs throughout Eastern Atlantic)

Pythonichthys Poey 1868    python, large snake, presumably referring to long snake-like body; ichthys, fish

Pythonichthys asodes Rosenblatt & Rubinoff 1972    muddy, referring to habit of burrowing into soft mud

Pythonichthys macrurus (Regan 1912)    macro-, long; oura, tail, more than three times as long as rest of fish

Pythonichthys microphthalmus (Regan 1912)    micro-, small; ophthalmus, eye, although size of eye is not mentioned

Pythonichthys sanguineus Poey 1868    blood-red, referring to color of fresh specimens


Family MYROCONGRIDAE Myroconger Eels               

Myroconger Günther 1870    etymology not explained, probably myros, Greek for a male moray, presumably referring to resemblance to Muraena (“being a Muraena with pectoral fins,” Günther wrote in 1869); conger, Latin for a marine eel

Myroconger compressus Günther 1870    referring to compressed body

Myroconger gracilis Castle 1991    slender, referring to more slender body compared to M. compressus

Myroconger nigrodentatus Castle & Béarez 1995    niger, dark or black; dentatus, toothed, referring to internal dark pigment of many jaw and intermaxillary teeth

Myroconger prolixus Castle & Béarez 1995    long, extended or drawn out, referring to more elongate body compared to M. gracilis

Myroconger seychellensis Karmovskaya 2006    ensis, suffix denoting place: the Seychelles, where it was found at a depth of 200 m


Family MURAENIDAE Moray Eels
19 genera/subgenera • 204 species

Subfamily UROPTERYGINAE

Anarchias Jordan & Starks 1906    an-, without; archos, anus, referring to apparent lack of anal fin (anal fin is restricted to tip of tail)

Anarchias allardicei Jordan & Starks 1906    in honor of mathematics professor Robert Edgar Allardice (1862-1928), Jordan’s colleague at Stanford University, who helped collect type

Anarchias cantonensis (Schultz 1943)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Canton Island, Phoenix Islands, Southern Central Pacific, type locality

Anarchias exulatus Reece, Smith & Holm 2010    banished or exiled, referring to its anti-tropical distribution, restricted to outer fringes of Indo-West Pacific faunal region

Anarchias galapagensis (Seale 1940)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Post Office Bay, Santa María Island [Charles Island], Galápagos Islands, type locality

Anarchias leucurus (Snyder 1904)    leuco-, white; oura, tail, referring to white fin around tail

Anarchias longicauda (Peters 1877)    longus, long; cauda, tail, referring to tail, which is longer than body

Anarchias schultzi Reece, Smith & Holm 2010   in honor of Smithsonian ichthyologist Leonard P. Schultz (1901-1986), who described the first species of this group (A. cantonensis) and collected extensively in the west-central Pacific

Anarchias seychellensis Smith 1962    ensis, suffix denoting place: Assumption Island, Aldabra Islands, Seychelles, type locality

Anarchias similis (Lea 1913)    similar, probably referring to similarity to Leptocephalus euryurus (=A. longicauda; e.g., both have broad or rounded tails), described by Lea in the same publication

Anarchias supremus McCosker & Stewart 2006    uppermost, referring to its having the most vertebrae of any known congener

Channomuraena Richardson 1848    channos, to yawn, referring to huge gaping jaws; muraena, Latin for moray

Channomuraena bauchotae Saldanha & Quéro 1994    in honor of friend and colleague Marie-Louise Bauchot (b. 1928), ichthyologist, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), “to whom the world of ichthyology owes a considerable debt” (translation)

Channomuraena vittata (Richardson 1845)    banded, referring to 13-16 irregular dark bands encircling body behind eye

Cirrimaxilla Chen & Shao 1995    cirrus, curl of hair; maxilla, jaw, referring to beard-like jaws, with many cirri

Cirrimaxilla formosa Chen & Shao 1995    both formosus, beautiful, referring to graceful appearance, and formosa, beautiful island, earlier name of Taiwan, type locality

Scuticaria Jordan & Snyder 1901   ia, pertaining to: scutica, a whip, referring to whip-like body (elongate, nearly cylindrical, with apparent absence of fins)

Scuticaria okinawae (Jordan & Snyder 1901)    of Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, type locality

Scuticaria tigrina (Lesson 1828)    referring to tiger-like coloration, yellowish to russet brown with yellow-edged black spots

Uropterygius Rüppell 1838    oura, tail; pterygion, little fin, referring to how dorsal and anal fins are restricted to tip of tail

Uropterygius alboguttatus Smith 1962    albus, white; guttatus, spotted, referring to numerous subcircular small white spots on head and body in young, partly obsolete on body with age, and whitish blotches on the head

Uropterygius concolor Rüppell 1838    colored uniformly, referring to uniform brown coloration (excepting yellow tip of tail)

Uropterygius fasciolatus (Regan 1909)    banded, referring to numerous narrow undulating dark crossbands, some of which are broken into spots

Uropterygius fuscoguttatus Schultz 1953    fuscus, dark or dusky; guttatus, spotted, referring to brown color and brown spots

Uropterygius genie Randall & Golani 1995    in honor of Eugenia (Genie) B. Böhlke (1929-2001), Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, for her research on muraenid eels

Uropterygius golanii McCosker & Smith 1997    in honor of Daniel Golani, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who first brought specimens to the authors’ attention

Uropterygius inornatus Gosline 1958    undecorated, referring to plain, uniform brown coloration

Uropterygius kamar McCosker & Randall 1977    named for the Archipel des Comores, Comoran Republic, capture location of many type specimens, derived from the Arab kamar, moon, referring to moon-like quality of volcanic Comoran islands

Uropterygius macrocephalus (Bleeker 1864)     macro-, large; cephalus, head, having the largest head among members of the genus known to Bleeker

Uropterygius macularius (Lesueur 1825)    macula, spotted; –aria, connected, referring to “spots of dirty white on the back, forming a kind of chain”

Uropterygius marmoratus (Lacepède 1803)    marbled, referring to brown and white mottling on body and tail

Uropterygius micropterus (Bleeker 1852)    micro-, small; pterus, fin, referring to rudimentary dorsal, anal and caudal fins

Uropterygius nagoensis Hatooka 1984    ensis, suffix denoting place: a fish market in Nago, Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, where type was landed by long line fishing

Uropterygius oligospondylus Chen, Randall & Loh 2008    oligos, few; spondylos, vertebrae, referring to fewest vertebrae (100-103) among known congeners

Uropterygius polyspilus (Regan 1909)    poly, many; spilos, spotted, referring to large dark brownish or purplish spots forming 2-3 irregular series on each side

Uropterygius polystictus Myers & Wade 1941    poly, many; stictus, spot, referring to numerous brownish black spots of irregular size and shape

Uropterygius supraforatus (Regan 1909)    supra-, above; foratus, bored (i.e., perforated), probably referring to high location of gill-opening, “much nearer dorsal than ventral profile”

Uropterygius versutus Bussing 1991    crafty, referring to its cryptic behavior and inconspicuous coloration

Uropterygius wheeleri Blache 1967    in honor of Alwyne C. Wheeler (1929-2005), Curator of Fishes at the British Museum (Natural History), in gratitude of “many services” (translation)

Uropterygius xanthopterus Bleeker 1859    xanthos, yellow; pterus, referring to its “nice yellow fins” (translation)

Uropterygius xenodontus McCosker & Smith 1997    xenikos, strange; odontos, tooth, referring to nearly wedge-shaped rather than conical teeth, unique in the genus

Subfamily MURAENINAE

Diaphenchelys McCosker & Randall 2007    diaphorus, different, referring to anatomical characteristics among muraenids (e.g., slender, elongate body) and unusual habitat preference (mud slopes) of D. pelonates; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Diaphenchelys dalmatian Hibino, Satapoomin & Kimura 2017    a breed of speckled dog, referring to its brown dalmatian-like spots on a white background

Diaphenchelys pelonates McCosker & Randall 2007    pelos, mud; nates, dweller, referring to muddy habitat

Echidna Forster 1788    viper or adder, probably referring to serpentine shape

Echidna amblyodon (Bleeker 1856)    amblys, blunt; odon, tooth, referring to obtuse, molar-like teeth

Echidna catenata (Bloch 1795)    chained, referring to chain-like color pattern

Echidna delicatula (Kaup 1856)    dainty, possibly referring to extremely fine and irregular reticulations on body

Echidna leucotaenia Schultz 1943    leukos, white; taenia, band, referring to white bands around edges of median fins

Echidna nebulosa (Ahl 1789)    cloudy, referring to 1-3 rows of numerous irregular brownish black blotches on body

Echidna nocturna (Cope 1872)    of the night, i.e., dark or black, possibly referring to deep purplish-brown coloration

Echidna peli (Kaup 1856)    in honor of H. S. Pel (d. 1854), Dutch civil servant and Governor of the Gold Coast (now Ghana), who sent type to Leyden Museum

Echidna polyzona (Richardson 1845)    poly, many; zona, belt or girdle, referring to 24-30 white rings around body

Echidna rhodochilus Bleeker 1863    rhodo-, rosy; cheilos, lips, referring to pink upper and lower lips

Echidna unicolor Schultz 1953    uni-, one, referring to “entirely plain tan or light brown” coloration, by which it differs from congeners

Echidna xanthospilos (Bleeker 1859)    xanthos, yellow; spilos, spot or stain, referring to numerous yellowish round or oval patches and streaks on body

Enchelycore Kaup 1856    enchelys, ancient Greek for eel; core, girl or pupil of eye, allusion not evident

Enchelycore anatina (Lowe 1838)    pertaining to a duck, called “The Ducks’bill Muraena” by Lowe, probably referring to elongate jaws and long, flat snout

Enchelycore bayeri (Schultz 1953)    in honor of Frederick M. Bayer (1921-2007), assistant curator, division of marine invertebrates, United States National Museum

Enchelycore bikiniensis (Schultz 1953)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, type locality

Enchelycore carychroa Böhlke & Böhlke 1976    caryon, nut; chroa, color, referring to chestnut coloration

Enchelycore kamara Böhlke & Böhlke 1980    vaulted chamber, referring to arched upper jaw

Enchelycore lichenosa (Jordan & Snyder 1901)    covered with lichens, referring to light gray blotches on brown-black body, “like spots of lichen”

Enchelycore nigricans (Bonnaterre 1788)    swarthy or blackish, referring to dark coloration of adults

Enchelycore nycturanus Smith 2002    nyktos, night; ouranos, sky, referring to color pattern, which resembles a field of stars on a dark sky

Enchelycore octaviana (Myers & Wade 1941)    -ana: belonging to: Octavia Bay, Colombia, type locality

Enchelycore pardalis (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    like a leopard, referring to leopard-like spots all over body

Enchelycore propinqua Mohapatra, Smith, Mohanty, Mishra & Tudu 2017    resembling or akin, referring to resemblance in coloration and tooth pattern with some Anarchias (Uropterygiinae) species

Enchelycore ramosa (Griffin 1926)    full of branches, probably referring to “conspicuous network of very small reticulations” on body, dorsal fin and inside mouth

Enchelycore schismatorhynchus (Bleeker 1853)    schizma, split; rhynchus, snout, referring very wide mouth (or snout) cleft

Enchelynassa Kaup 1855    enchelys, ancient Greek for eel; nassa, a wicker basket with a narrow neck, possibly referring to funnel-shaped anterior nasal cavity

Enchelynassa canina (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)    pertaining to a dog, referring to long canine teeth

Gymnomuraena Lacepède 1803    gymnos, bare or naked, referring to absence (or smallness) of dorsal and anal fins; muraena, Latin for moray

Gymnomuraena zebra (Shaw 1797)     referring to zebra-like dark and whitish bands

Gymnothorax Bloch 1795    gymnos, bare or naked; thorax, breast or chest, referring to absence of pectoral fins

Subgenus Gymnothorax

Gymnothorax annulatus Smith & Böhlke 1997   ringed, referring to bars encircling the body

Gymnothorax chlamydatus Snyder 1908    mantled or cloaked, allusion unclear, perhaps referring to 13 light brown rings that encircle bodY

Gymnothorax hubbsi Böhlke & Böhlke 1977    in honor of ichthyologist Carl L. Hubbs (1894-1979), “with great respect and affection”

Gymnothorax maderensis (Johnson 1862)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Madeira, type locality

Gymnothorax mccoskeri Smith & Böhlke 1997   in honor of “friend, colleague and fellow eel enthusiast” John E. McCosker (b. 1945), California Academy of Sciences, who visited several Australian museums and informed authors of the presence of this species in those collections

Gymnothorax minor (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    lesser, referring to small size compared to G. albimarginatus, G. kidako and Enchelycore pardalis

Gymnothorax punctatofasciatus Bleeker 1863    punctatus, spotted, referring to small brown spots on body; fasciatus, banded, referring to 30 irregular crossbands, some encircling body, others incompletely developed

Gymnothorax randalli Smith & Böhlke 1997    in honor of “friend and colleague” John E. Randall, Bishop Museum (Honolulu), who collected three of the four type specimens and reported on the fourth

Gymnothorax reticularis Bloch 1795    netted or net-like, referring to brown reticulations on sides of body

Subgenus Lycodontis Jordan & Evermann 1896    named coined by McClelland (1844) without explanation; lykos, wolf; odontos, tooth, presumably referring to sharp teeth and/or “voracious” behavior, “showing much pugnacity”

Gymnothorax mareei Poll 1953    in honor of Major I. Marée, administrator of Banana, a port town in Bas-Congo (now Kongo Central), Democratic Republic of the Congo

Gymnothorax miliaris (Kaup 1856)    arius, pertaining to: mille, thousand, referring to numerous tiny white dots on body

Gymnothorax unicolor (Delaroche 1809)    uni-, one, referring to uniform brown coloration

Subgenus Neomuraena Girard 1858    neo, new; muraena, Latin for moray, described as a new genus of morays

Gymnothorax conspersus Poey 1867    speckled, referring to small blue dots on entire body

Gymnothorax kolpos Böhlke & Böhlke 1980    Greek for gulf, referring to Gulf of Mexico, type locality

Gymnothorax nigromarginatus (Girard 1858)    niger, black; marginis, border, referring to dark margin on dorsal fin

Gymnothorax ocellatus Agassiz 1831    ocellated, referring to white spots on body, the largest about eye-size

Gymnothorax saxicola Jordan & Davis 1891    saxum, rock; cola, inhabitant, “abounds about the Snapper Banks [off Pensacola, Florida] among rocks at considerable depth”

Subgenus Taeniophis Kaup 1860    taenia, ribbon, possibly referring to elongate body with long dorsal fin and tapering tail; ophis, snake, referring to elongate, snake-like shape

Gymnothorax afer Bloch 1795    African, referring to type locality (Guinea) and distribution in African seas

Gymnothorax funebris Ranzani 1839    funereal, referring to uniform dark green to brown coloration

Gymnothorax moringa (Cuvier 1829)    West Indian or Portuguese corruption of muraena, or moray

Gymnothorax polygonius Poey 1875    poly, many; gonio-, angle, referring to pale areas of polygonal, squarish or indeterminate shapes on body

Gymnothorax vicinus (Castelnau 1855)    near, referring to similarity to G. moringa

Incertae sedis

Gymnothorax albimarginatus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    albus, white; marginis, border, referring to broad whitish margin on dorsal and anal fins

Gymnothorax angusticauda (Weber & de Beaufort 1916)    angustus, narrow; cauda, tail, referring to tapered tail, longer than head and trunk

Gymnothorax angusticeps (Hildebrand & Barton 1949)    angustus, narrow; –ceps, head, referring to “rather narrow compressed head”

Gymnothorax annasona Whitley 1937    named for Lord Howe Island, South Pacific, near 1907 wreck of the barque Annasona

Gymnothorax atolli (Pietschmann 1935)    presumably referring to Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, type locality

Gymnothorax australicola Lavenberg 1992    australis, southern; cola, inhabitant, referring to South Pacific distribution

Gymnothorax austrinus Böhlke & McCosker 2001    southern, referring to distribution off Victoria, Australia

Gymnothorax bacalladoi Böhlke & Brito 1987    in honor of J. J. Bacallado, for contributions to study of marine fauna of Canary Islands, type locality

Gymnothorax baranesi Smith, Brokovich & Einbinder 2008    in honor of Albert (Avi) Baranes, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for his contributions to our knowledge of the fishes of the Red Sea

Gymnothorax bathyphilus Randall & McCosker 1975    bathy, deep; philos, fond of, referring to apparent preference for relatively deep water (250 m, unusual for a moray eel)

Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904    in honor of E. Louis Berndt, “efficient inspector of fisheries in Honolulu”

Gymnothorax breedeni McCosker & Randall 1977    in honor of Vic E. Breeden, president of Charline H. Breeden Foundation, which made collection of type and study of other Comoran fishes possible

Gymnothorax buroensis (Bleeker 1857)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Buro Island, Moluccas Islands, Indonesia, type locality

Gymnothorax castaneus (Jordan & Gilbert 1883)    chestnut, referring to light brownish-chestnut coloration

Gymnothorax castlei Böhlke & Randall 1999    in honor of Peter H. J. Castle (1934-1999), Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand), “friend and colleague” for his great contributions to the knowledge of morays as well as all eels and their leptocephali

Gymnothorax cephalospilus Böhlke & McCosker 2001    cephalus, head; spilos, spot, referring to contrasting eye-sized white spots on head

Gymnothorax chilospilus Bleeker 1864    cheilos, lip; spilos, speck or blemish, referring to dark brown streak behind corner of mouth

Gymnothorax cribroris Whitley 1932    sieve, referring to sieve-like network of markings on body and fins

Gymnothorax davidsmithi McCosker & Randall 2008    in honor of David G. Smith, Smithsonian Institution, for his contributions to the understanding of anguilliform fishes

Gymnothorax dovii (Günther 1870)    in honor of Capt. John M. Dow, who presented type to the British Museum

Gymnothorax elegans Bliss 1883    fine or select, probably referring to elegant coloration, with small round white spots on a pale-yellow to reddish-brown body, pink lips and “gamboge yellow” mouth

Gymnothorax emmae Prokofiev 2010    in honor of Emma S. Karmovskaya, “a renowned Russian expert in anguilliform fishes”

Gymnothorax enigmaticus McCosker & Randall 1982    enigmatic, referring to nomenclatural confusion with closely related G. rueppelliae

Gymnothorax equatorialis (Hildebrand 1946)     equatorial, referring to type locality: Gulf of Guayaquil, off Mt. Organos, near Cabo Blanco, Peru

Gymnothorax eurostus (Abbott 1860)    stout, referring to stocky body form

Gymnothorax eurygnathos Böhlke 2001    eury, wide; gnathos, jaw, referring to wide triangular jaws

Gymnothorax favagineus Bloch & Schneider 1801    honeycombed, referring to dark honeycomb pattern on body

Gymnothorax fimbriatus (Bennett 1832)    fringed, referring to yellow fringe, or margin, on dorsal fin (“pinnis flavo fimbriatis”), although color is actually white

Gymnothorax flavimarginatus (Rüppell 1830)    flavus, yellow; marginis, border, referring to yellow-green edge on dorsal and anal fins

Gymnothorax flavoculus (Böhlke & Randall 1996)    flavus, yellow; ocula, eye, referring to bright yellow eye, highly visible in life and contrasting to white eye of very similar G. thyrsoideus

Gymnothorax fuscomaculatus (Schultz 1953)    fuscus, dark or dusky; maculatus, spotted, referring to dark to blackish brown spots on body

Gymnothorax gracilicauda Jenkins 1903    gracilis, slender; cauda, tail, referring to tapering tail

Gymnothorax griseus (Lacepède 1803)    gray or grayish, although described as being brown and “whitish” (translation)

Gymnothorax hansi Heemstra 2004    in honor of ethologist and filmmaker Hans Fricke, for his “pioneering contributions” to the study of fish behavior and deep demersal communities of the Comoros Islands, Red Sea and Indo-Pacific region

Gymnothorax hepaticus (Rüppell 1830)    of the liver, referring to “liver-brown” (translation) coloration

Gymnothorax herrei Beebe & Tee-Van 1933    in honor of ichthyologist-lichenologist Albert W. Herre (1868-1962), who described this moray in 1923 but used a preoccupied name (G. brunneus = Enchelycore nigricans)

Gymnothorax indicus Mohapatra, Ray, Smith & Mishra 2016    Indian, referring to country in whose Exclusive Economic Zone the type specimens were captured by a trawler

Gymnothorax intesi (Fourmanoir & Rivaton 1979)    in honor of Intès (no forename), zoologist who contributed to capture of several new species of New Caledonian eels

Gymnothorax isingteena (Richardson 1845)    from the Chinese vernacular Isingteen, meaning “blue-spotted eel”

Gymnothorax javanicus (Bleeker 1859)    icus, belonging to: referring to Patjitan, Java (Indonesia), type locality

Gymnothorax johnsoni (Smith 1962)    in honor of Alf Johnson of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, who supplied Smith with “many rare and valuable specimens”

Gymnothorax kidako (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    Japanese vernacular for this eel

Gymnothorax kontodontos Böhlke 2000    kontos, short; odontos, tooth, referring to very short, small teeth

Gymnothorax longinquus (Whitley 1948)    long or extensive, presumably referring to elongate, compressed body

Gymnothorax margaritophorus Bleeker 1864    margarita, pearl; phoros, bearer, probably referring to 3-4 irregular rows of pearly eye-like spots extending from eye onto dorsal part of body

Gymnothorax marshallensis (Schultz 1953)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Marshall Islands, type locality

Gymnothorax megaspilus Böhlke & Randall 1995    mega, large; spilos, spot, referring to prominent large black spot surrounding gill opening

Gymnothorax melanosomatus Loh, Shao & Chen 2011    melanos, black; somatus, bodied, referring to black body color

Gymnothorax melatremus Schultz 1953    melas, black; trema, hole, referring to black blotch around gill openings

Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw 1795)    guinea fowl, probably referring to innumerable small white spots on body, which closely resembles color pattern of a guinea fowl

Gymnothorax microstictus Böhlke 2000    mikros, small; stiktos, spots, referring to small, dark brown spots on body and tail

Gymnothorax mishrai Ray, Mohapatra & Smith 2015    in honor of Subhrendu Sekhar Mishra, Fish Section, Zoological Survey of India

Gymnothorax moluccensis (Bleeker 1864)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ambon Island, Moluccas Islands, Indonesia, type locality

Gymnothorax monochrous (Bleeker 1856)    monos, one; chroa, color of body or skin, probably referring to bronze-brown coloration without spots or bands

Gymnothorax monostigma (Regan 1909)    monos, one; stigma, mark, referring to single deep-black spot immediately behind eye

Gymnothorax mordax (Ayres 1859)    prone to bite, referring to “very savage habits of biting and plunging at any object approaching it”

Gymnothorax nasuta de Buen 1961    large-nosed, referring to exceptionally long anterior nostril, projecting well in front of snout

Gymnothorax neglectus Tanaka 1911    overlooked, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to close similarity to and possible misidentification with G. punctatus

Gymnothorax niphostigmus Chen, Shao & Chen 1996    nipha-, snow; stigma, mark, referring to numerous snowflake-like patches on body and fins

Gymnothorax nubilus (Richardson 1848)    cloudy, referring to cloud-like spots on body, which form a series of irregular and sometimes confluent bars

Gymnothorax nudivomer (Günther 1867)    nudus, bare, referring to toothless vomer (roof of mouth)

Gymnothorax nuttingi Snyder 1904    in honor of Charles Cleveland Nutting (1858-1927), naturalist of the Albatross Hawaiian expedition in 1902, which collected type

Gymnothorax obesus (Whitley 1932)    obese, probably referring to large size and/or how dorsal and anal fins are “reduced to low fatty folds anteriorly”

Gymnothorax panamensis (Steindachner 1876)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Panama, type locality

Gymnothorax parini Collette, Smith & Böhlke 1991    in honor of ichthyologist Nikolai Vasil’evich Parin (1932-2012), Russian Academy of Sciences, expert on seamount fishes and scientific leader of cruise 17 of the Vitiaz, from which all type material was collected

Gymnothorax phalarus Bussing 1998    white-spotted, referring to color pattern

Gymnothorax phasmatodes (Smith 1962)    oides, having the form of: phasma, ghost, presumably referring to light (pale yellow) coloration

Gymnothorax philippinus Jordan & Seale 1907    Filipino, referring to type locality, Cavite, Luzon Island, Philippines

Gymnothorax pictus (Ahl 1789)    painted, referring to lavish coloration with small brown to dark brown speckling, as if spotted with paint

Gymnothorax pikei Bliss 1883    in honor of Nicholas Pike, United States Consul in Mauritius, who supplied type

Gymnothorax pindae Smith 1962    of Pinda, Mozambique, type locality

Gymnothorax polyspondylus Böhlke & Randall 2000    poly, many; spondylos, vertebrae, referring to high vertebral number

Gymnothorax polyuranodon (Bleeker 1853)    poly, many; urano-, relating to roof of mouth; odon, tooth, referring to 5-6 sharp teeth on vomer

Gymnothorax porphyreus (Guichenot 1848)    referring to reddish dots on body, which resemble dotted porphyry, a variety of igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals such as feldspar or quartz

Gymnothorax prasinus (Richardson 1848)    leek, referring to green, leek-like coloration

Gymnothorax prionodon Ogilby 1895    prion, saw; odon, tooth, referring to some anterior maxillary teeth being serrated (although subsequent accounts indicate all teeth are smooth)

Gymnothorax prismodon Böhlke & Randall 2000    prism, sawed; odon, tooth, referring to highly serrate teeth

Gymnothorax prolatus Sasaki & Amaoka 1991    extended or elongated, referring to slender, “greatly” elongated body

Gymnothorax pseudoherrei Böhlke 2000    pseudo-, false, i.e., although it may resemble (and be misidentified as) G. herrei, such an appearance is false

Gymnothorax pseudomelanosomatus Loh, Shao & Chen 2015    pseudo-, false,  i.e., although it may resemble (and be misidentified as) G. melanosomatus, such an appearance is false

Gymnothorax pseudothyrsoideus (Bleeker 1853)    pseudo-, false, i.e., although it may resemble G. thyrsoideus, such an appearance is false

Gymnothorax pseudotile Mohapatra, Smith, Ray, Mishra & Mohanty 2017    pseudo-, false, i.e., although morphologically similar to G. tile, such an appearance is false

Gymnothorax punctatus Bloch & Schneider 1801    spotted, referring to small white spots body all over body

Gymnothorax reevesii (Richardson 1845)    in honor of naturalist John Reeves (1774-1856), who illustrated many specimens collected by the HMS Sulphur in the China Sea, including this one

Gymnothorax richardsonii (Bleeker 1852)    in honor of surgeon-naturalist John Richardson (1787-1865), for his contributions to the knowledge of muraenid eels

Gymnothorax robinsi Böhlke 1997    in honor of C. Richard Robins (b. 1928), “eelologist” and colleague, advisor and friend, for contributions to the knowledge of fishes (including anguilliforms), and for help and encouragement, both scientific and personal, over the past 37 years

Gymnothorax rueppelliae (McClelland 1844)    in honor of explorer-naturalist Eduard Rüppell (1794-1884), whose 1828-30 work on Red Sea fishes contains many Indian species referenced by McClelland [spelling appears to reflect incorrect gender, but may actually represent an incorrect latinization (Ruppellius) of Rüppell, which cannot be emended to “rueppellii” per ICZN Code 32.5.1]

Gymnothorax ryukyuensis Hatooka 2003    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ryukyu Islands, Japan, type locality

Gymnothorax sagmacephalus Böhlke 1997    sagma, saddled; cephalus, head, referring to prominent dark saddle on head

Gymnothorax serratidens (Hildebrand & Barton 1949)    serra, saw; dens, teeth, referring to serrated teeth in jaws

Gymnothorax shaoi Chen & Loh 2007    in honor of ichthyologist and marine ecologist Kwang-Tsao Shao, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, who contributed greatly to establish a Taiwanese fish database and for supervising and supporting the authors’ muraenid studies

Gymnothorax sokotrensis Kotthaus 1968    ensis, suffix denoting place: off Sokotra Island, Indian Ocean, type locality

Gymnothorax steindachneri Jordan & Evermann 1903    in honor of Austrian ichthyologist Franz Steindachner (1834-1919), who suspected this was a distinct species in 1900

Gymnothorax taiwanensis Chen, Loh & Shen 2008    ensis, suffix denoting place: coastal eastern Taiwan, type locality

Gymnothorax thyrsoideus (Richardson 1845)    etymology not explained, perhaps from thyrsus, a close-branched cluster or panicle; –oides, resembling, possibly referring to white fine reticulations “forming polygonal meshes” and/or English translation of Chinese vernacular, “flowery club”

Gymnothorax tile (Hamilton 1822)    local vernacular for this species in Calcutta, India

Gymnothorax undulatus (Lacepède 1803)    wavy, referring to distinctive pattern of light undulating lines and speckles on a dark green background

Gymnothorax vagrans (Seale 1917)    wandering, probably alluding to unknown type locality (questionably South America)

Gymnothorax verrilli (Jordan & Gilbert 1883)    in honor of marine biologist Addison E. Verrill (1839-1926), who supplied authors with type material from Yale University

Gymnothorax visakhaensis Mohapatra, Smith, Mohanty, Mishra & Tudu 2017    ensis, suffix denoting place: Visakhapatnam fishing harbor, Andhra Pradesh, southeast coast of India, type locality

Gymnothorax walvisensis Prokofiev & Kukuev 2009    ensis, suffix denoting place: Walvis Ridge, southeastern Atlantic, type localit

Gymnothorax woodwardi McCulloch 1912    in honor of Bernard H. Woodward (1846-1916), Director, Western Australian Museum and Art Gallery, for sending an “interesting collection” of “new and little-known fishes” (including this one) to McCulloch for study, and for “various kindnesses connected with the publication of this paper”

Gymnothorax ypsilon Hatooka & Randall 1992    Greek letter Y, referring to how bars on body branch dorsally to form a Y-shape

Gymnothorax zonipectis Seale 1906    zona, belt; pectus, breast, presumably referring to short black bands that extend through the fins and connect with bands on other side of body

Monopenchelys Böhlke & McCosker 1982    mono, one; ope, opening, referring single branchial pore, unique among morays; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Monopenchelys acuta (Parr 1930)    sharp or pointed, referring to slender head and snout

Muraena Linnaeus 1758    Latin for moray, from the ancient name for M. helena

Muraena argus (Steindachner 1870)    Argus, mythical hundred-eyed guardian of Io, whose eyes after death where transformed into the feathers of a peacock, probably referring to numerous white spots on body

Muraena augusti (Kaup 1856)    in honor of Kaup’s “highly-valued friend” August Dumeril (1812-1870), herpetologist and ichthyologist, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris)

Muraena clepsydra Gilbert 1898    hourglass, referring to larger white spots on posterior half of body, “with a more or less evident central constriction which makes them hourglass-shaped”

Muraena helena Linnaeus 1758    etymology unknown, probably an allusion to Helen of Troy, the most beautiful (and therefore most dangerous) woman in the world in Greek mythology, perhaps referring to the eel’s distinctive coloration and menacing size; also it is perhaps worth noting that Linnaeus gave the same epithet to two large and distinctively colored butterflies (Triodes helene and Papilio helenus), and that Izaak Walton said the Romans esteemed this eel as the “Helena of their feasts” (The Compleat Angler, 1653)

Muraena lentiginosa Jenyns 1842    freckled, referring to yellow circular spots, “many of them not bigger than large pin’s heads … giving a freckled appearance”

Muraena melanotis (Kaup 1859)    melanos, black; otos, ear, referring to conspicuous black blotch on gill opening

Muraena pavonina Richardson 1845    probably from pavo, peacock, referring to eye-like spots over head, body and fins

Muraena retifera Goode & Bean 1882    rete, net; fero, to bear, referring to distinctive color pattern of brown rosettes overlaid with small bright white dots on a dark background, which appears as a dark reticulum

Muraena robusta Osório 1911    robust, referring to extremely robust body shape of large specimens

Pseudechidna Bleeker 1863    pseudo-, false, i.e., although this genus may resemble Echidna, such an appearance is false

Pseudechidna brummeri (Bleeker 1858)    in honor of Dr. O. Brummer, Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Dutch East Indies Army, who collected type

Rhinomuraena Garman 1888    rhino-, nose or snout, originally described as a subspecies of Muraena with extended anterior nostrils with fanlike extensions at each end

Rhinomuraena quaesita Garman 1888    sought after, allusion not evident (although in more recent times this eel has become a sought-after species among divers, underwater photographers and aquarium hobbyists)

Strophidon McClelland 1844    strophe, socket or twisting; odon, tooth, referring to moveable conical teeth at end of jaws

Strophidon dorsalis (Seale 1917)    presumably referring to dorsal fin, which is very low anteriorly and hidden in skin

Strophidon sathete (Hamilton 1822)    presumably vernacular name of species in Calcutta, India, type locality


Family CHLOPSIDAE False Morays
 8 genera • 25 species

Boehlkenchelys Tighe 1992    in honor of Eugenia B. Böhlke (1929-2001) and her husband the late James E. Böhlke (1930-1982), both of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, for their many contributions to the study of eels; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Boehlkenchelys longidentata Tighe 1992    longus, long; dentatus, toothed, referring to long, needle-like teeth

Catesbya Böhlke & Smith 1968    in honor of Mark Catesby (1682/83-1749), whose Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1743) marks the beginning of our knowledge of Bahaman fishes

Catesbya pseudomuraena Böhlke & Smith 1968    pseudo-, false; muraena, moray, i.e., although this species may look like a moray eel, such an appearance is false

Chilorhinus Lütken 1852    cheilos, lip; rhinos, snout or nose, probably referring to ventrally projecting upper lip

Chilorhinus platyrhynchus (Norman 1922)    platys, broad or flat; rhynchos, snout, referring to broad and flat snout

Chilorhinus suensoni Lütken 1852    in honor of Edouard Suenson (1805-1887), Danish naval officer who collected specimens during his voyages, including some of the type material for this species

Chlopsis Rafinesque 1810    etymology not explained, possibly chlon, twig or green twig; –opsis, appearing, perhaps referring to thin (twig-like?) body

Chlopsis apterus (Beebe & Tee-Van 1938)    a-, without; pterus, fin, referring to lack of pectoral fins

Chlopsis bicollaris (Myers & Wade 1941)    bi-, two; collare, band, referring to white band across nuchal region and band across back at origin of dorsal fin

Chlopsis bicolor Rafinesque 1810    of two colors, dark brown above and white below, the distinction very sharp

Chlopsis bidentatus Tighe & McCosker 2003    bi-, two; dentatus, toothed, referring to vomerine dentition in two biserial rows anteriorly

Chlopsis dentatus (Seale 1917)    toothed, referring to sharp, pointed and conical teeth

Chlopsis kazuko Lavenberg 1988    in honor of Kazuko Nakamura for single-handedly archiving the Giles W. Mead ichthyological library at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

Chlopsis longidens (Garman 1899)    longus, long; dens, teeth, referring to large, acicular and very slender teeth

Chlopsis nanhaiensis Tighe, Ho, Pogonoski & Hibino 2015    ensis, suffix denoting place: Nan Hai, Chinese name for South China Sea, where type apparently was captured by commercial fishermen

Chlopsis olokun (Robins & Robins 1966)    god or goddess of the sea in the culture of the Yoruba-speaking peoples, including those of the Ivory Coast, off whose waters type was collected

Chlopsis orientalis Tighe, Hibino & Nguyen 2015    eastern, referring to its type locality in the Far East (Nha Trang, Viêt Nam, South China Sea)

Chlopsis sagmacollaris Pogonoski & Tighe 2015    sagma, saddle; collaris, necked, referring to distinctive dark pigment patch at nape of neck

Chlopsis slusserorum Tighe & McCosker 2003    –orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of Marion and Willis Slusser, for their “keen interest in natural history and generous support of research and education”

Kaupichthys Schultz 1943    in honor of naturalist Johann Jacob Kaup (1803-1873), for his work on apodal fishes; ichthys, fish

Kaupichthys atronasus Schultz 1953    atrum, black; nasus, nose, referring to black anterior nostrils

Kaupichthys brachychirus Schultz 1953    brachys, short; cheiros, hand, referring to short pectoral fin

Kaupichthys diodontus Schultz 1943    di-, two; odontos, tooth, referring to two rows of teeth on vomer

Kaupichthys hyoproroides (Strömman 1896)    oides, having form of: referring to supposed resemblance to Hyoprorus, a name applied to leptocephalus of Nettastoma melanura (Nettastomatidae)

Kaupichthys japonicus Matsubara & Asano 1960    Japanese, originally described as a Japanese subspecies of K. diodontus

Kaupichthys nuchalis Böhlke 1967    nuchal, referring to pale band at nape

Powellichthys Smith 1966    in honor of R. Powell, Fisheries Officer, Cook Island, Pacific, who provided type; ichthys, fish

Powellichthys ventriosus Smith 1966    potbellied, referring to distended abdomen of females caused by “tightly packed” eggs

Robinsia Böhlke & Smith 1967    ia, belonging to: C. Richard Robins (b. 1928), for his contributions to the knowledge of this “fascinating group of eels” (specific name of only species honors his wife)

Robinsia catherinae Böhlke & Smith 1967    in honor of Catherine H. Robins, for her contributions to the knowledge of this “fascinating group of eels” (generic name honors her husband)

Xenoconger Regan 1912    xenos, strange or foreign (i.e., different); conger, Latin for a marine eel, presumably referring to how it resembles anguillids in most of its characters, but has small branchial openings into the pharynx like a muraenid

Xenoconger fryeri Regan 1912    in honor of entomologist J. C. F. Fryer, who collected type


Family DERICHTHYIDAE Longneck Eels and Shorttail Eels
3 genera • 11 species

Coloconger Alcock 1889    colos, shortened or truncated, referring to stubby body and short tail; conger, presumed to be closely allied to Conger (Congridae)

Coloconger cadenati Kanazawa 1961    in honor of ichthyologist Jean Cadenat (1908-1992), Director, Marine Biological Section of the Institute Français d’Afrique Noire (Gorée, Senegal), who supplied type

Coloconger canina (Castle & Raju 1975)    dog, referring to shape of snout

Coloconger eximia (Castle 1967)    select, distinguished or unusual, presumably referring to “remarkably large” size for a leptocephalus (only larval forms are known), and/or to laterally compressed body, “giving the impression of a broad, flat tape”

Coloconger japonicus Machida 1984    Japanese, referring to Okinawa Trough, type locality, between Japan and Taiwan in South China Sea

Coloconger meadi Kanazawa 1957    in honor of ichthyologist Giles W. Mead (1928-2003), who sent type to Kanazawa

Coloconger raniceps Alcock 1889    rana, frog; ceps, head, referring to “massive, frog-like” head

Coloconger saldanhai Quéro 2001    in honor of the late Luiz Saldanha (1937-1997, in a memorial volume commemorating his contributions to marine biology); Saldanha collaborated with Quéro and co-discovered this eel

Coloconger scholesi Chan 1967    in honor of P. Scholes, Fisheries Laboratory, Lowestoft, England, for his contributions to the fishery survey program in the South China Sea

Derichthys Gill 1884    dere, neck, being the only ichthys (fish) that Gill knew of with a “true neck” (Gill later tempered his remarks; in 1896 he described the eel’s “neck” as “a neck-like contraction between the head and pectoral fins …”). Fishes do not possess necks (a cervical connection between the head and trunk), although a few can turn their heads up (e.g., the characoid Rhaphiodon vulpes), or both down and sideways (the galaxiid Lepidogalaxias salamandroides), thus creating the impression that a neck is involved.

Derichthys serpentinus Gill 1884    snake-like, referring to “serpentiform head”

Nessorhamphus Schmidt 1931    nessa, duck; rhamphos, beak, referring to spatulate (duck-like) snout

Nessorhamphus danae Schmidt 1931    in honor of the Danish fishery research vessel Dana, from which type was collected

Nessorhamphus ingolfianus (Schmidt 1912)    anus, belonging to: Ingolf, Danish ship from which type was collected